FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northern Environmental Action Team will receive $150,000 over three years from the Pembina Pipeline Corporation to support the Food Secure Kids program.
Each spring, NEAT, works with local schools in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek to bring food security education to students from K-6. As part of this program, students are encouraged to explore what they eat and how their food gets to them. Each grade has specifically designed curriculum that incorporates how to grow plants and keep them healthy, what role pollinators play in our food system, and how to minimize the distance your food is travelling amongst other things.
“It’s really about creating healthier relationships within our food systems,” says NEAT Executive Director Karen Mason-Bennett. “We understand not everyone is going to grow their own food as adults, but knowing how much goes into getting those carrots onto your table will hopefully foster an increased respect and support for those who do.”
Each of the five Fort St John schools have gardens onsite where students plant the food they’ve grown in their classrooms. This food is available to the surrounding community throughout the year. Additionally, there are Community Garden beds and beds growing food for the food bank at each school to round out the effort to improve local food security.
“As a community, we all reap the rewards of this program. We’re not just helping to grow food security know-how in our kids, we’re also helping to grow a new generation of community-minded citizens. We at Pembina see this as a win-win, and can’t wait to get out to the schools this spring to lend a hand”, says Jeff Spenst of Pembina Pipeline Corporation.